Taylor Swift – 1989 (Big Machine)

Taylor Swift – 1989 (Big Machine)

On the 1989 deluxe-edition track “You Are In Love,” Taylor Swift provides a justification for all of the songs she’s ever written: “You understand now why they lost their minds and fought the wars/ And why I’ve spent my whole live trying to put it into words.” At the end of the day, Swift is just trying to figure out how to talk about this thing called love and on 1989, she’s erected her largest battlefield to date. Forgoing the pop-country stylings that made her so successful, she opts for big-emotion pop bombast: the winking “Blank Space,” the thinly veiled “Style,” and the dewy-eyed “Wildest Dreams” are among the best songs she’s ever written, and she yields these weapons with a professional incisiveness. Gone are the personalized anecdotes of past highlights like “All Too Well” and “Dear John” — she’s aiming for the big leagues. And somehow by going large, Swift has made her most intimate album experience yet. She’s created something that feels closer to the “true” Taylor Swift — whatever that may mean — and she’s done it by borrowing heavily and smartly from her contemporaries. She’s indebted to artists like HAIM, CHVRCHES, and her BFF Lorde: 1989 is as much a distillation and refinement of current “indie”-pop trends as Yeezus was to the rap scene last year. Love her or hate her, Swift has made the most successful mainstream pop album of the year. She got people talking about and buying music in a climate that seems increasingly averse to either, and she has the skills to back it all up. –James [BUY]

Please disable your adblocker or subscribe to ad-free membership to view this article.

Already a VIP? Sign in.